My Autel EVO II Pro 6K Drone and Accessories
When it came time to buy my first professional-quality drone, I chose the Autel Robotics EVO II Pro 6K from Autel Robotics. It had the combination of features that I wanted, and in my opinion the best video quality.
Normally I wouldn't advise someone who's never flown a drone to start with a professional-quality one. You don't want to crash an expensive drone. You probably should consider an inexpensive starter drone if you've never flown one before.
In my case, however, I already had an aviation background (including flying RC airplanes). I also planned to use drones professionally to make money. So I took my chances and narrowed my choices to professional-quality drones.
The most important factor in my choosing the Autel EVO II Pro was that after watching many, many hours of drone videos on YouTube, I thought the Autel had the best video quality. I also considered the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, which also has excellent video; but in the end, I decided that the Autel had the edge in video quality.
Another factor that leads some pilots to favor Autel Robotics drones over DJI drones is that DJI has a feature known as "geofencing" that prevents the drone from taking off if it thinks its in controlled airspace unless a waiver or clearance is obtained, and then submitted to DJI. That can be a problem if the pilot doesn't have a data connection to submit the approval, or if the system malfunctions and the drone believes it's in restricted airspace when it isn't. That wasn't a major factor in my decision, but it's something you should be aware of if you're shopping for a drone.
Anyway, back to my gear. The case in the picture is a homemade one that I built using a standard hard case with foam inserts that people use to transport camera gear, firearms, or other expensive, delicate items. I have an instructional page about how I built the case on this page. The picture on this page was taken before the rubberized coating was applied to the foam.
Autel also makes an official rugged case for the EVO II series of drones if you'd rather not build one yourself. The official case is also available as part of a rugged drone bundle that includes extra batteries, spare propellers, and other accessories.
The five orange things sticking out of the foam are spare batteries for the EVO II drone. Each battery lasts for about 30 to 35 minutes, in my experience; so for long missions, I need to carry spares. There's also a battery in the drone, so I carry a total of six batteries with me.
The large device with the screen on the right-hand side of the case is a Smart Controller for the drone. It has an amazingly bright and sharp screen that's much easier to see than a phone or in bright daylight. If you're planning on buying a smart controller for your Autel drone, please note that there are two hardware versions (V1 and V2). The controller and drone must be the same version.
If you have more than one drone, or if the controller for your drone version isn't available, you may want to consider a TRIPLTEK tablet instead. The screen isn't quite as bright, but it's much brighter than a phone or an ordinary tablet; and because it runs a standard Android operating system, it can be used with pretty much any drone. It's also virtually indestructible.
The square black thing near the handle of the case is a battery charging hub for the EVO II series batteries. It allows up to four batteries to be charged either simultaneously or sequentially. It's pretty much a must-have item if you're going to use multiple batteries.
I'll be posting more gear pages as opportunity arises and time permits. Stay tuned!
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